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Published: April 28th 2009
ATLAS MOVIE STUDIO
Do you want our autograph no one else is around.
Oh my goodness. Fran has stiff legs. Bit of shuffling going on. Angie is okay as her pace was a bit more slower.
Today, we travel south for about 4 hours in the private mini van to the Kasbash country of Ait Benhaddou. The drive is filled with ruins of ancient Kasbahs that were once colonial military desert outposts. The scenery is that of austere mountain, wide open spaces, valleys of palm tress and irrigated fields. The homes are mud houses and the people are poor.
We eat lunch in Ouarzazate and get to visit the Atlas Movie studio. Many American and foreign films have be made here. Lawrence of Arabia, Black Hawk Down, Jewel of the Nile, Gladiator, The Passion of Christ, and and currently getting ready to remake the movie Ben-Her and we were able to see a team of horses attached to a chariot out for a test run. It was neat to sets from the China, Eqypt, and Morocco all back to back.
Our last visit for the day was at Ait Benhaddou, which is a world heritage site. This fortified village is made of clay and has been restore thanks to
the movie industry that has used it for many films, Lawrence of Arabia , the Jewel of the Nile, Jesus of Nazareth, the Last Temptation of Christ, Kindun, the Mummy, Gladiator and Alexander.
Centuries ago, Ait Benhaddou, on the Mellah River was an important stop for caravans passing through as they carried slat across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Now only a few families live there. Our guest house is just across the river and we have a very nice view. You had the option of walking across the water or paying to have a mule take you across. We opted for the cool water on our feet. We wander the maze of streets to the top and taking in the various shops of trinkets for sale.
Our host who has been in some of the movies filmed locally presented a cooking demonstration for the traditional tajine. They use only 6 spices: salt, pepper, cumin, saffron, ginger and
the traditional way to cook Cous Cous is very long and takes several steps of mixing with Olive Oil and adding water.
The guest house has a roof top patio that serves as the breakfast area with
A WANABEE ?
A PHOTO THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DELETED
a wonderful view of the old fortress. It has been restored thanks to the many movies filmed there.
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